blog banner

blog banner

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Biking in the Snow 2: the Snow Strikes Back

This was the scene today in Durham Forest.

This week: 0C, wet, mud

It rained all night in town, so to pull up and see snow was a bit surprising.

It was ALSO surprising to see Whitby's own Emily Batty, one of the world's best women's mountain bikers (top 5 if you believe in Olympic results), and her husband (who was doing pretty impressive wheelies through the parking lot)... and about a dozen other cars parked with bike racks!

So we went for it.

Fortunately the temperature was right around zero... still a bit of mud, but not too terrible (and nothing that would do too much damage to the trails I hope - always have to think about that!).  By the end the ice pellets and snow had built up enough that the mud was a non-factor (but not cold enough to freeze up the moisture).  It was pretty perfect.

Last week was deeper snow, about 2 inches on the ground, and colder:

Last Week: -5C, 2" snow

Last week it hadn't rained, so it being below zero wasn't a problem - there wasn't any standing water to freeze up under the snow.  The roots were very very slippery, but the traction on the snow was perfect.

That's the real trick with snow riding - fat bike, 29'er, CX - none of them can deal with ice.  None of them can actually deal with a lot of unpacked snow (despite the fat bike hype, they really can't).

There's a sweet spot, and when you get it?  Ride on, baby.

Ride.  On.


Everything is slippery.  Roots especially.

I had my back wheel fly out on me and had a "moment" on what would barely register as a curve... just a tiny little wet/cold root and whoooosh.

Angle of attack is everything.  Perpendicular.  Don't rely on grip on roots - not for traction to move forward, not for steering, it's just not there.  Speed is your friend - use your momentum.  It's also your enemy if you crash... but mostly it's your friend.

Be careful.  Enjoy.  It's fun.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Paris to Ancaster: No Race Day Plate Pick-up

I registered for what will be my 12th Paris to Ancaster.  Early, to get both the discount and ensure I was in a decent wave (which last year, I wasn't!).

... and was met with this message on confirmation.

Race Kit/Plate pick up:
Saturday, April 29 2018 – Ancaster Community Centre - 12 to 5pm.

Wait, what?  

A race with people coming from all over the GTA (and beyond), and now you expect them to come to Ancaster twice?

For me, that's about 3 extra hours of driving.  For some an extra hour, 2 hours, 4 hours.  Or, if you believe their comments on social media - they're going to just not come out at all.

Not cool, P2A.  Not.  Cool.

I hope they reconsider - the reaction on-line has been pretty swift.  I get that race-day pick-up is a pain in the ass for them, but it's a pain in the ass for hundreds of people if they don't offer it (not to mention the wastefulness of people driving out twice).

Honestly, if this stays this way, it could quite easily be my 12th and last P2A.  It's really not worth it for me to drive out twice. I hope enough people vote with their feet on this one, if the RD doesn't reconsider.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Halloween Candy as Fuel

I have a lot of left-over Halloween candy, so it occurred to me - why pay for more sugar (Gatorade) when I can just gobble some Halloween goodies?

Rockets?  Or Smarties?
Referencing the information I got from the Velonews FastTalk Podcast, the answer is pretty much "go for it".

... as long as the primary sugar is glucose, not fructose.

Fortunately here in Canada, most of our candy is either made from real sugar (sucrose contains 50/50 glucose/fructose), or from glucose/sugar mix (ie. dextrose). 

In the U.S. it's a bit tougher to find candy not made from high-fructose corn syrup (glucose-fructose), which can contain more fructose than you really want for exercise.

Rockets are one of my favourites (or "Smarties" in the U.S., which are entirely different from our "Smarties" which are made of chocolate!).  30 calories of Dextrose (glucose) goodness per roll.

Also Swedish Berries... glucose syrup, yummmm!